Activation of multiple effector pathways of immune system by the antineoplastic immunostimulator acidic polysaccharide ginsan isolated from Panax ginseng

Yun Sil Lee, I. N.Sung Chung, Ihn Rhan Lee, K. I.Hwan Kim, Weon Seon Hong, Yeon Sook Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the present study an acidic polysaccharide ginsan, with a molecular weight of 150,000, devoid of lectin properties, was purified from Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer (Araliaceae). Ginsan induced the proliferation of T cells and B cells. Spleen cells became cytotoxic to a wine range of tumor cells without major histocompatibility complex-restriction after 4 or 5 days culture in vitro with ginsan. For the generation of these ginsan-activated killer (AK) cells adherent macrophages and CD4+ cells were needed as accessory cells. The generation of ginsan-AK cells was blocked in the presence of anti-lL-2, anti-IFNγ, anti-IL-1 of anti-TNFα antibodies, showing the importance of these cytokines in the process. The surface phenotypes of the 4 day-cultured ginsan-AK cells was Thy1+, AsGM1+, CD8+, which is distinct from rlL-2 induced lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cells that were CD8-. The ginsan also activated macrophages to produce reactive nitrogen intermediates and become tumoricidal. It also exhibited significant in vivo antitumor activity against B16 melanoma cells lines, and in the benzo(a)pyrene-induced autochthonons lung tumor model, at much lower closes than the maximum tolerate doses. Indeed, no mice died, which injected with ginsan at 1 g/kg body weight intraperitoneally. In conclusion, 'ginsan' could potentially be an ideal nontoxic antineoplastic immunostimulator by activating multiple effector arms of the immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalAnticancer Research
Volume17
Issue number1 A
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Antineoplastic
  • Immunostimulator
  • Non-toxic
  • Panax ginseng
  • Polysaccharide

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